Run your own company? Join Star’s PartnerPlusBenefit scheme and get a free upgrade

Since British Airways devalued its On Business scheme for small and medium sized companies last May, it has become irrelevant for many SMEs.

The fact that £30,000 of BA spending is required to get off the basic membership tier – which is a lot of travel if your business does not involve long-haul flights – is a sign of how much you are valued.  It is also substantially harder to earn a free flight under the new structure.

There is an alternative.  PartnerPlusBenefit, previously Star Alliance Company Plus, is the Star Alliance equivalent of On Business, aimed at companies in the UK and Ireland.

PartnerPlusBenefit

What makes PartnerPlusBenefit more powerful than BA’s On Business is that flights from 11 airlines earn points. The participating airlines are Air Canada, LOT, Lufthansa, germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian, ANA, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, United and TAP Portugal.

There is also a wider range of redemption options than On Business offers. As well as flight redemptions and upgrades, you can also redeem for giftcards for hotel bookings, Lufthansa FlyNet internet vouchers, chauffeur services to Heathrow and Heathrow Express tickets amongst other things.  You can even ask them to redeem your points for cash.

A generous sign-up bonus – a FREE business class upgrade

PartnerPlusBenefit is currently offering 1,500 BenefitPoints for signing up (1,000 BenefitPoints) and registering a credit card (an additional 500 BenefitPoints).

You need to register a credit card as this is the main method they use for tracking flight purchases made by your company.  It will pick up your purchases even if you book via a corporate travel agent.

The 1,500 bonus points for signing up are enough for:

a one-way upgrade to business class within Europe, or

3 x one-way Heathrow Express tickets, amongst other things.

Once you start crediting flights to the scheme, you can build your points to a level required to redeem for free flights or other deals – 2000 points gets you 14 days of airport parking for example.  1900 points gets you a £50 hotel voucher.

PartnerPlusBenefit is part of AwardWallet so you can keep track of your points via the business version of their app or website.

25% discount on PartnerPlusBenefit redemptions until 31st March

If you are already a member of PartnerPlusBenefit, there is a special redemption deal available until 31st March.

You can save 25% on all flight and upgrade redemptions made on all 10 PPB members.

A flight from the UK to Germany in Economy would be just 2,625 BenefitPoints instead of the usual 3,500 for example.

Summary

If you run your own company, or are the travel manager for someone elses, it is worth signing up to PartnerPlusBenefit.  You may find the benefits are more useful than heavily devalued On Business points.

The sign-up page is here – you need to submit the form and request a callback.  Travellers will still receive their standard miles in their personal accounts when they fly, so it is a genuine extra benefit on top.

Is this the best round-the-world routing using Avios?
Bits: Starwood adds 2 Radisson hotels in Paris, images of the BA Cape Town lounge
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Comments

  1. Metatone says:

    I still don’t understand why BA devalued OB so heavily. Was someone getting a really good deal out of the old setup?

  2. If you don’t want to use the 1,500 points for an upgrade there are some items available in the Lufthansa “World Shop” for 1,500 points, or under, including a model Herpa Lufthansa B747-8 “Siegerflieger”, scale 1:500!

  3. I joined PPB sometime last year and have 1500 points sitting in the account unused – no Star Alliance flights in the last year. However, this article motivate me to investigate a bit more.

    Its worth noting that there are some other partners offering sign up bonuses – Worldpay seems to be offering a further 1500 points to refer you to PPB payable when you take your first flight:

    https://worldpay.huddlebuy.co.uk/goldcard/deals/business-travel/partnerplusbenefit-star-alliance-business-travel-loyalty

    My 1500 points can be translated into a cashback of about 25 quid, but 3 *Heathrow Express single tickets sounds a bit more attractive. Trouble is, the PPB website is so basic, I cant work out how to actually buy HX tickets – they dont appear on any of the redemption options – has anyone successfully redeemeed?

    • You need to phone or email PPB they are very good at responding. I cashed in a (cough) few accounts with 2000 points for the 1900 point £50 globalhotel e vouchers when the sign up was 2000.

      The site is poor, today I saw reference to the £50 globalhotel vouchers priced at 1900, 2000 and 2500 depending on where on the site one looked.

  4. Is this valid if you’re self employed?

    • I think you need a company of your own, even if self employed

    • Colin JE says:

      Looks as though you’re okay. See the bit on self-employed professionals. Here are their T’s and C’s:

      Membership in the PartnerPlusBenefit corporate incentive programme is open to:
      2.1.1 All business establishments, i.e. natural or legal persons and partnerships that are permanently engaged in commercial activities and that purchase flight tickets for their commercial activities in the UK, Ireland or Iceland.
      2.1.2 Law firms and tax consulting firms, medical practices and other self-employed professionals (e.g. architects, management consultants, engineering offices), to the extent that their business establishment has been set up on an active and permanent basis and who purchase flight tickets for purposes associated with their professional activities.
      2.1.3 Registered associations or associations with legal capacity and corporate bodies – including without limitation, associations, chambers, churches and political parties – to the extent that they purchase flight tickets for the fulfilment of their purpose, unless contrary to Section 2.2.

  5. I run my own company but only have a debit card. May however need a credit card soon.

    Rob, have you ever done a comparison on the best credit cards for business owners?

  6. I have about 10,000 points in my account. I have always taken cash as when trying to use for flights either the upgrade was only valid for expensive fare classes while the free tickets came with ridiculous fuel charges. Does anybody know whether there is now more value in using for flights then take cash. 2600 points to fly to Europe sounds good but what fees have to paid on top?

    • czechoslovakia says:

      Intra-EU its very poor value, if booked well in advance. My experience shows that the “taxes” part can be anything up o 80% of the lowest cash fares. However, short notice availability is excellent (at least 3 days out), so there`s value there at higher price points.

  7. Thanks for the reminder Rob: we joined 2 years ago now and have 2475 points from 57 flights (in addition to the joining & CC bonus) which enables us to consider upgrades and free flights. Please do note that the upgrades are FROM 1,500 points (for flexible Economy => Business tickets). I suspect that the Classic Economy which we normally buy would be 2,500 points to upgrade, though I haven’t tried yet.

    Incidentally there is an interesting benefit from the LH price structure rejig last year – the Economy Classic fares allow you to select seats when booking which was previously not an option we ever saw on the inflexible Economy tickets.

    Aliks you are right – the PPB website is shocking and I haven’t managed to redeem anything yet. Even finding it & logging in seems tricky at the best of times!

    There also seems a great spectrum of value from the points, but then that’s all about points isn’t it?!

    25 or 50 collected per Economy flight (Classic)

    900 points = 24h FlyNet voucher (value?!)
    1,300 = Rimowa travel kit = €28 or 8,000 LH Starpoints via WorldShop
    1500-2500 = upgrade 1-way to Business (UK – DE) = £75 or 15,000 LH Starpoints for my next flight
    2250 points = £50 GBP Sixt voucher
    3500 = 1-way Economy flight (UK – DE) – subject to fees & taxes
    8000 = 1-way Business flight (UK – DE) – subject to fees & taxes
    10,000 = £172 GBP exchanged for cash (min. £150 / 8,750 points) – 1.72 pence per point

    Another point of interest is that we need to collect points manually because of switching cards regularly for bonus points! It isn’t difficult once you get the hang of entering the ticket numbers on the website.

    I wonder whether the new Curve Mastercard umbrella function will allow us to register that on PPB and funnel our purchases through it via whichever card we’re using this month?!

    I think redemptions (other than the cash, vouchers & WorldPay ones above) – especially on flights – are best handled by phone or e-mail:
    0371 521 2255 (UK / N.Ireland)
    partnerplusbenefithelpdesk@dlh.de

  8. czechoslovakia says:

    Raffles, you say there is a double points promo at the mo. Got a link, can`t find anything, and nothing showing in the Bonuses section on the website? You usually have to sign up to such promotions. Cheers.

  9. I joined in 2009, when it was SACP. The last few flights I tried to register (mostly United) were deemed not valid as they were cheaper class tickets. As a result, I haven’t earned any points for years, and have given up trying to use them.

  10. Colin JE says:

    Have checked their T’s and C’s and if trading under a non-limited company name (ie sole trader or partnership) it looks as though they accept this. Anyone got experience of this? I got chucked out of BA’s On Business scheme because I’m not Ltd Co, but Virgin are more than happy to keep me in their Virgin Flying Co scheme (worth looking at).

    Also, how about Turkish airlines? Just got Elite status (Star Alliance Gold) with them as a status match to get access to Star Alliance lounges, even though I had no trips showing with Alitalia (itself a status match from Air Berlin). Turkish gave me 4 months membership, extendable to 12 months if I have international Turkish Airlines flight in that time. Maybe worth booking a flight just for that!

    I’m planning to credit any Lufthansa miles to my Turkish airlines account. Will I still get PartnerPlusBenefit miles? And is it worth it?

  11. Laurent says:

    I’ve never had a problem booking flights or getting an upgrade, which offers the best value.

  12. Laurent says:

    Sorry, hit submit too soon.

    Long haul flight upgrades usually offer the best value as the taxes etc on short haul trips quite high.
    Points expire faster than miles so watch out but they do send email reminders well in advance.